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South Sudanese only hope for peace rest in Pope’s visit

South Sudanese only hope for peace rest in Pope’s visit
Daniel Garang TRC journalist interviewing some of the citizens who came to welcome the Pope Credit Mary Poni

The South Sudan citizens celebrate and jubilates as Pope Francis start the peace pilgrimage in the country. Some of the people expressed that the coming of Pope is the only way to cement peace in the war torn nation.

Pope Francis arrived in Juba on Friday to embark on peace pilgrimage, accompanied by the archbishop of Canterbury and the moderator of the general assembly of the church of Scotland.

Peter Osmadi Handia who came from the far Nuba Mountain to welcome the peace pilgrims said the coming of Pope to South Sudan is the only way that will bring peace to South Sudan and Sudan as a whole.

“The coming of Pope Francis to South Sudan for the first time should bring peace and love to the people of South Sudan and Sudan as a whole” Said osmadi

Tina Malual, a resident of Juba says her coming to celebrate indicate readiness for peace from the citizens and asked the general public to forgive and reconcile with one another to make the papal visit meaningful.

“We hope every citizens will be blessed by his coming, I asks every citizen to forget what has happened in the pass. If you are hurt during the conflict, forget and forgive. Let us be reconcile and this is what brought us here today.” Tina asked

Father Joseph Otto from the Catholic Diocese of Torit said the presence of His Holiness in the country has brought joy to the country and should be received wholeheartedly for the lasting peace to be realized in the country.

“People are feeling the presence of the coming of the Vicar of Christ in the country and that is the sources of our jubilation” said Fr. Otto

“This is your time South Sudanese people. You must now open up your life to receive the Vicar of Christ and accept the message of the gospel so that you live a life of peace, unity and love for one another and living as a country,”

His Holiness Pope Francis has been praying and pleading with the transitional leaders to stay in peace since 2019 and his visit to Juba is viewed as a commitment to what he started.

During a two-day spiritual retreat at the Vatican in 2019, Pope Francis kissed the feet of South Sudan’s leaders, begging them to live in peace.

“I am asking you as a brother to stay in peace. I am asking you with my heart,” the old pontiff pleaded with the leaders after the kissing of feet.

The Rome peace declaration was initiated in January 12th, 2020 with the signing of the ceasefire Agreement between the government and opposition groups under the auspices of the Community of Sant’Egidio and regional organizations.